News and Notes from the Austin Peay Game
Questions surrounded Tennessee tailback Marlin Lane in the off-season. The junior seemed destined to live in Butch Jones’ doghouse. On Saturday, Lane seemed destined to find the end zone.
Lane scored twice while rushing for 38 yards on six carries during UT’s 45-0 win over Austin Peay on Saturday. The Vols scored six touchdowns on six drives in the first half against the Governors.
“We built a lot of confidence because we saw that all of us got each other’s backs, whether we’ve got the ball or not,” Lane said. “We just saw the tempo of the offense going and with our center being our gas pedal, we moved a lot faster tonight.”
When asked if the gameplan was to stick to the running game, Lane said, “Our game plan was to just come out here and send a statement to everybody that was watching…I feel like we did that, but we’re going to do some more each week.”
The Vols rushed for 315 yards against Austin Peay. Lane believes that may just be the beginning with a veteran offensive line up front.
“I think it can be as good as we can just following behind our offensive linemen. Those boys, they really work and we’ve got to work with them,” Lane said.
Lane also complimented quarterback Justin Worley’s performance. Worley completed 11-of-13 passes for 104 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 28 yards. Stats aside, Lane said Worley has control of UT’s offense after being named a starter last week.
“He did very well,” Lane said. “Justin Worley, whatever he says, he’s the voice of the offense. He’s a great leader. We follow behind his footsteps I think we’re going to be a successful football team.”
Alton “Pig” Howard scored a touchdown on an 11-yard reception in the second quarter. He finished the game with three receptions for 29 yards. Howard was featured on a reverse in which he gained seven yards.
“In this offense you can get the ball in many ways,” the sophomore receiver said. “The slot is the bread and butter to the offense. I think in general that our game plan was similar to the way we played.”
In all, ten receivers caught passes for the Vols on Saturday.
“It boosts everyone’s confidence, and in general, regardless if one person scores we feel like we all score,” Howard said. “We all play for each other.”
Howard may be just a sophomore. However, among UT’s young receivers, he’s practically a veteran.
“We have a lot of young people, but at the same time they’ve come a long way,” Howard said. ” They have made a lot of improvement and we try to coach each other. I especially try to do a good job coaching on and off the field.”
Touchdown from Tennessean
Former Bearden standout Devrin Young scored his first career touchdown on a nine-yard reception in the first quarter on Saturday.
“I was just like `Thank you God’ and you know I’m just hoping and working to get back there soon,” the junior said.
Even better days could be ahead for Young. He seems a good fit as a slot receiver in UT’s revamped offense.
“You know I’m just trying to learn the ins and outs, trying to soak up everything that goes in they’re throwing at me and I just want to play the best game I can,” he said.
Junior tight end Brendan Downs found himself wide open late in the second quarter for a touchdown pass. Quarterback Justin Worley was able to find Downs on a crossing route in the end zone despite having a defender in his face.
“It was a misdirection play, lined up off the ball on the left side, play action that side, come back behind the line of scrimmage on that side in the flat,” Downs said. “I was actually hot on the play. The defense blitzed so I popped wide open. Caught it and scored.”
The play resulted in a three-yard touchdown pass and put the Vols up 42-0.
Tennessee’s special teams didn’t break a big play on special teams. However, the Vols didn’t give up any plays either. Young said he was pleased with the showing.
“Oh yea definitely, everybody is just really executing what the coach is throwing at them,” he said. “We have some guys that I’m really happy to have on the punt return team. I’m just really looking forward to watching film with them and getting better.”